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Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2024 Fantasy Baseball: Week 1 – 4/1

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Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2024 Fantasy Baseball: Week 1 – 4/1


Welcome to The List, where I rank the Top 100 SP for Fantasy Baseball every single Monday of the year.

Want an earlier update to The List? Join me on Mondays at 1:00pm ET as I live-stream its creation each week!

Have questions? My “office hours” are on Playback 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET Monday – Friday + the aforementioned stream of The List.

For each edition of The List, I have a set of rules to outline my thought process and how to best use these rankings. Please take note:

  1. This is 5×5, 12-teamer, H2H format focused. It generally is the same as roto as well, but make sure you adjust accordingly.
  2. Before the notes and rankings, an injury table outlines where players would be relatively ranked if they were fully healthy. It’s the best way to tackle how to value players on the IL.
  3. If a player is on the IL or not confirmed inside the rotation, they aren’t on the List. That includes injuries and guys in the minors, but there are exceptions for players who are expected to be in the rotation but are being skipped this week. (Spring edition: I have a few hypothetical rotation arms on The List who will be off the ranks if they leave camp out of the rotation).
  4. Second is a table of pitchers outside the Top 100 I considered. Please read this if you can’t find your guy.
  5. Since this is a 12-teamer, I heavily weigh upside in the back-half of the rankings. The Cherry Bomb players are likely going to underperform those labeled as a Toby across a full season, but it’s in your best interest to chase ceiling vs. floor in many cases. Pick the one that you need most in your situation, of course.
  6. I’ve made a decision to limit labels to just one label per player, with few exceptions for a second. It streamlines the process much better and hopefully gives you a more targeted understanding of the player.
  7. The notes outline oh-so-much to help your team. Please read the notes if you can instead of just scrolling to the bottom.

 

Let’s get to the tables. First are all of our injured compatriots. Injuries are so strange (especially in spring training) and instead of shoving them at random moments on The List, I’ve elected to throw all of them into one table here for you, the wise fantasy manager, to determine if it’s worthwhile to take the injury discount and when.

I made a decision last year: I removed the “Preseason tiers” and changed “tiers” to “Relative Rank” as it’ll be more consistent week-to-week — Tiers change while their relative rank does not.

Please understand that “70-80” does not guarantee the player will be exactly in that range when they return. Rankings are 100% relative to the landscape and while this table reflects where they would sit in a vacuum, it’s a fluid creature. Sometimes there are oh-so-many options, sometimes I want to see them healthy and stretched out again, and others we’re starving for pitchers and they jump higher than “70-80”. It’s a loose reference point and why it’s called “relative ranking.” It’s difficult to update this week-to-week and I apologize if the ranking is different when the player actually returns from the IL. I hope it helps!

One last point about that – pitchers often need an extra week or two to ramp up once they do return to the majors. It’s why Still ILL exists and the “relative rank” you see is when those guys have shaken off their rust. Will they be back to normal in their first start or will they need a few? I have no idea! Those ranks are to show what I’d expect once they are fully back to normal.

I added something new to The List last season. It’s a small table of the prospects I’m personally excited about who would jump up The List quickly if they were confirmed in the rotation. Please don’t read too much into these, there are far better prospect analysts out there than me, and this rank will likely conflict with our weekly SP To Stash article from Rudy Ropp, though we will be conferring each week.. Still, I think this table will help you quickly stay on top of who should be on your radar.

They are ordered by my general preference/focus on those guys right now. If any of these are called up, they should be added to your 12-teamers as s[ec adds at the very least. Some guys aren’t here and that’s due to my own belief they aren’t as pressing as the ones below. I could be very wrong there.

Colors: Green = Worthy of a stash.

Prospect Pitchers To Consider

Lastly, I heavily recommend you follow my daily SP Roundup that outlines all pitcher performances through the season, as each week’s update will reflect the comments and findings from those daily articles. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the players listed, I highly recommend that you read my 75,000+ word Top 400 Starting Pitchers from February. Many things will have changed, but the root of my perception of these players is outlined there.

Let’s get to it.

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • This is your reminder to please read these notes as they’ll tell you plenty about why “someone moved up” or “why is he at #X?!”
  • Seriously. Read the notes.

 

  • I know there are going to be a ton of comments about I hate how much these rankings change each week and I’m going to get out ahead of them here.
  • These rankings mostly change in the back half of The List as that’s your waiver wire. Those aren’t the players you hold onto throughout the year like your SPs 1-4, which means we’re going to be a bit more chaotic and roll with the waves more aggressively. If I see elements that suggest a pitcher could be a Top 40 arm, I’m going to move up a ton from the 80s to the 60s. Shazam, there we go.

 

  • I barely moved pitchers inside the Top 40. There are a few exceptions (I think four arms in total?) and I mostly elected to be patient for another week or two after witnessing just one outing. But yes, I certainly feel like Nola, Musgrove, Ober, King, should be lower, while Miller, Peralta, Pivetta, Javier should be higher, etc.

 

Tier 1 – The True Aces

 

1. Spencer StriderThe curve is helping!

2. Corbin BurnesHe looked so much better than his spring outings. Gotta be happy for Baltimore.

3. Zack Wheeler – Even with a tick down on his heater (it should ramp up), Wheeler dominated one of the best offenses around. My man.

 

Tier 2 – AGA With Something To Prove

They have the AGA tag, though they all have a quirk that could mean they lose it by May.

 

4. Pablo López – He looked marvelous after hanging a slider early for a longball.

5. Luis Castillo – So it wasn’t great. He’s still dope.

6. George Kirby – We have breaking ball whiffs! And maybe more high heaters…?

7. Kevin Gausman – He went 4.1 IP looking like a stud. All good here.

8. Logan Webb – Webb’s slider looks to be coming back to form and that’s a wonderful thing.

9. Cole Ragans – A poor third frame and a Royce HR were the blemishes of another start of legit stuff.

10. Tarik Skubal – He took down the White Sox as he should.

11. Tyler Glasnow – That slider is still incredible.

12. Zac Gallen – Lower velocity + lower strike rate makes me a little concerned with his massive workload last year…but one start.

13. Max Fried – He got hosed in his first outing. Don’t think anything of it.

14. Aaron Nola – He faced Atlanta and got trounced. His mistakes were exploited and that’s life.

 

Tier 3 – We Expect Success Every Night

They have to earn the AGA tag but are just a few starts away from it.

 

15. Bobby Miller – Hot dang he looked great. Four-seamers are actually up! Now we want to see a legit whiff breaker and we’re set.

16. Yoshinobu Yamamoto – Things are cool here, though the four-seamer isn’t bullying batters, especially with its middle-height locations (y-mLoc). Makes me a touch concerned, but he’s a productive arm across 150 IP with solid Win opportunities.

17. Zach Eflin – He had a crooked inning as his rusty command caught up to him. Expect him to adjust.

18. Grayson Rodriguez – The stuff is legit, I do question if he can locate at will, though. The team context + strikeout stuff makes the floor still so high.

19. Freddy Peralta – The dude’s heater was stupid good. Better everything across the board and while I so badly want to raise him and Bobby at or above Glasnow, the wise thing to do is watch another start or two first.

 

Tier 4 – So Dang Close To Greatness

I trust all these pitchers to produce this season while they also carry the ability to be more than an SP #3. Sonny Gray and Bryan Woo would be in this tier.

 

20. Joe Ryan – He looked great in his first outing, though there is still a floor when not facing a lineup like the Royals and keeping his slider too much in the zone.

21. Shane Bieber – He looked good against the Athletics and this isn’t the guy we saw last year. With 92+ mph and much improved breakers, Bieber looks like a sturdy 25% strikeout arm good for six innings a start.

22. Joe MusgroveHe looked rough in his first two frames, but adjusted well and cruised the rest of the way. It certainly feels like him, Ober, King, should be at the bottom of this tier, but let’s give it another start or two.

23. Framber Valdez – Six walks?! Few cutters?! Get it together Valdez.

24. Chris Sale – 95 mph with good sliders on Atlanta is everything you want, save for 150+ IP security.

25. Logan Gilbert – Gilbert’s command was much better than I expected here, nailing four-seamers in the upper-third of the zone easily. There were some lovely splits and sliders as well, and I could continue to move him up with more starts. It’s not a bullying heater quite yet, though it doesn’t have to be. Just locating effectively is better than I expected.

26. Bailey Ober – Three homeruns and just 1/53 whiffs is an atrocity against the Royals. I don’t quite understand why and for now, I’m calling it weird noise that I don’t want to overreact to.

27. Yu Darvish – He’s using his full arsenal well even if it’s not with the best command I’ve seen from him. He’s embracing “don’t give in” and I’m here for it.

28. Michael King – The dude walked seven batters and that has to be a stupid outlier, right?

 

Tier 5 – Why Do I Feel So Scared?

This is the toughest tier to rank and will likely be filled with landmines. Which will turn into the stud you dreamed of and which will be the bust?

 

29. Blake Snell – He’s actually back this week against the Dodgers and that’s cool. It should take a moment to get settled in, at the very least.

30. Shota Imanaga – I’m writing this after just having witnessed his brilliance against the Rockies Monday afternoon and I want to remind everyone it’s Rockie RoadWatching it, I felt like Imanaga was good at generally keeping his four-seamer upstairs, though he wasn’t as precise pitch-to-pitch as I was hoping to see. His splitter did plenty of work with the slider improving over time, but are they the most reliable complements to the heater? It’s far too soon to make sweeping judgments based on this outing.

31. Dylan Cease – He had better than usual spots with both his four-seamer and slider, and that’s a cool thing. Probably just one of those days.

32. Jesús Luzardo – Sliders and four-seamers were well spotted and he took down a weak Pirates crew. Mostly. Old concerns are still present.

 

Tier 6 – The Tiled Floor

I expect all of these arms to consistently go every five days and flirt with six frames, each with legit potential for a 25% strikeout rate, if not more in some cases. I may not love them, but you shouldn’t find a 12-teamer without them on a squad and for good reason. Gavin Williams and Justin Verlander would be in this tier. Paul Skenes would be near the bottom of this tier if called up today.

 

33. Tanner Bibee – His four-seamer is so steep that it messes up its iVB and he needs to command that pitch better if he’s going to get away with it. Slider and change are still great stuff pitches, though, and we’re not going to make a move after his wonky debut (even with a tick down in velo).

34. Triston McKenzie – Our first “HAVEN’T SEEN HIM YET!” fella. You’re going to see a trend in the second half of the list where I group those I’ve seen and not seen together, without displacing their order.

35. Chris Bassitt – Yep, that’s Bassitt.

36. Merrill Kelly – Kelly took advantage of arguably the best matchup there is.

37. Nathan Eovaldi – His heater was fine at 96 mph while the splitter and cutter did their work effectively. He’s a Holly and that’s cool with us.

38. Nick Pivetta – He looked fantastic with his whirlybird sweeper against the Mariners for eight whiffs and if he displays the same command consistently, he’ll rise up and up.

39. Bryce Miller – I opened this tier as all three of Miller, Brown, and Javier looked promising in their first starts, each displaying growth. Bryce’s overall command was far less scattershot than in 2023, and the splitter certainly helps against LHB. It’s not the complete answer – he needs a more reliable strike pitch – but it’s a legit addition.

40. Hunter Brown – He’s embracing the iVB of his four-seamer to live upstairs, now he needs to get his cutter and curve actually down to make this work as he wants. Steps, not leaps. He’ll get there.

41. Cristian Javier – THE CHANGEUP. I’m in adoration of Javier’s new changeup that he trusts more than his breakers and adding a true #2 pitch he can throw for strikes will make for a much more consistent starter throughout 2024. And he didn’t even have his four-seamer in his season debut! I’m so in, though I’ll wait to raise him once we see the same changeup succeed in at least one more start.

 

Tier 7 – The Chaperoned Field Trip

These arms have ceilings we like while also having less perceived risk than other ceiling arms (Tier 8), or a higher ceiling than the other safer arms (Tier 6). 

 

42. Casey Mize – I’m excited to watch him against the Mets and believe his four-seamer foundation is stronger than Flaherty’s slider foundation.

43. Kutter Crawford – He looked fantastic and flexed another large four-seamer iVB jump, this time to 19.5″. That’s crazy good and his stuff speaks to success. I want more starts NOW.

44. Brayan Bello – The slider isn’t the mega whiff pitch we wanted it to be, though his sinker/change combo is still sturdy and benefits from the tight slider that can find strikes. He could be a legit stud if he finds a breaking ball that returns a 20%+ SwStr rate.

45. Jared Jones – His fastball and slider are dope and make us feel dope. I had two concerns prior to his outing – his IP leash & pitch efficiency – and both were quelled here…in one outing. The ceiling is too obvious with a Spencer Strider rookie year comp that I’m raising him this much despite the possibility of his fastball command diminishing next time out.

46. Jack Flaherty – Six solid frames with beautifully precise sliders down is a great thing against a terrible ChiSox squad, but does he wield enough in his arsenal to support them? His fastball was 93 and change, not 94/95 mph, nor was it painted as we’ve seen before. Meanwhile, there isn’t another weapon to turn to when the slider isn’t at its best.

47. Luis Gil – Here’s to hoping the Sneks were a stud offense because of their weak Colorado opponents, not because they are an elite squad. Gil’s ceiling is massive, especially with a secure rotation spot if he’s pitching effectively.

48. Ryan Pepiot – Getting the Rangers and Coors out of the gate is no fun, though I’m excited to watch him keep his heaters upstairs and hopefully sliders + changeups down.

49. Cristopher Sánchez – Will the changeup feel return in his first outing? I’d love for the sinker velocity to stick at 94 mph with the same changeup from last year.

50. Tanner Houck – Two fantastic matchups await Houck as he flexes what we heard from Boston camp was “the largest velocity jump of the rotation”.

51. Nestor Cortes – After a rough first frame, Cortes weaved through the Astros lineup with better heaters and using cutters + sliders effectively. I’m skeptical he carries the ability to replicate his 2022 season + the injury risk is still present.

52. José Berríos – Berríos had some of the best command I’ve seen from him in ages. Here’s to hoping it sticks.

53. Aaron Civale – Civale leaned into the slider and I’m all here for it, with a great team context on his back.

54. Reese Olson – Two great matchups await Olson, who I hope is leaning away from the four-seamer in favor of everything else.

55. Garrett Whitlock – He excelled against the Mariners, though sub 10 whiffs was a bit surprising. The best news? His 2022 extension has returned and makes a massive difference.

 

Tier 8 – Plaid Shirts and a PBR

They could easily be anchors of your staff – both bad and good, with heavy HIPSTER risk. I personally don’t like having guys like these on my teams, but I recognize I was too harsh previously as I didn’t weigh the potential impact of it clicking high enough. Just be disciplined to move on if this doesn’t work early. Nick Lodolo would be in this tier.

 

56. Carlos Rodón – His fastball velocity was up close to 96 mph (SWEET!) but it wasn’t the ramp up we normally see from Rodón, but rather a more adrenaline focused first frame, then settling down closer to 95 mph. We’re not out of the woods yet. Gotta give a shoutout to the cutter, though. I dig it.

57. Hunter Greene – He’s the guy you thought he was going to be. But the curve and splitter! Nah.

58. Yusei Kikuchi – We’re seeing the volatility Kikuchi eliminated in the final four months last year. I expect him to stabilize at some point, but for now, it’s rough.

59. Mitch Keller – He’s a stereotypical Cherry Bomb.

 

Tier 9 – 14-Day Return Policy

Try out these young arms the first week of the season and see how it goes. They could be on your roster all year or showcase too much volatility to get the boot after their first start or two.

 

60. Reynaldo López – Here’s to earning cheap Wins with ReyLo. The four-seamer is solid while the breakers should keep him afloat.

61. Reid Detmers – His four-seamer suddenly boasted legit iVB – now at 17.5″ instead of ~15″ last year – and it propelled a 12 whiff effort against a strong Baltimore squad. That said, his overall command could have been described as Effectively Wild and I need to see more before truly jumping in. If he had a better follow-up start (and not the Red Sox), I’d be more inclined to raise him into Tier 8.

62. Garrett Crochet – It was a stupid fun opening day start, but will he get the same results against decent offenses? Will the hype disappear after his start against Atlanta? Can he actually earn a ton of strikes with just two pitches? Okay, that’s not fair – there is a cutter in the mix that I imagine will get featured more over time – though I’m still concerned he won’t have the same four-seamer velocity and ability to pound the zone as often.

63. Jordan Hicks – We expected 95 mph on the sinker and we got 97, featuring the same ICR he had with the pitch in ’23 at 100 during his time in relief. The problem? His sweeper wasn’t dependable and I’m not confident in the splitter earning a ton of strikes, either. The jury is still out here, but at least the sinker’s effectiveness seems to be good enough to allow his secondaries to take him to the finish line.

64. A.J. Puk – Ohhhh boy. Both Puk and Hall failed us and it’s important to not believe in “Sunken Cost”. I had them high because I believed A) They would have similar pitch shapes to 2023 (they did not) and B) they would be a quick decision after their outings if it turned out poorly. The good news: We can move on quickly without holding on for a month, as long as there’s something else that provides value now. As for Puk, his steeper four-seamer is the real issue here (not the poor command, that was likely just noise), though I’m fine holding for one more start against the Angels and hoping he turns it around. I doubt the fastball will be able to dominate again like it did last year, but maybe there’s more in the tank here, especially when he can actually spot pitches.

65. DL Hall – As for Hall, his four-seamer not only isn’t looking like Wheeler’s from the left side (his HAVAA dropped massively as well as losing 3+ ticks of velo), but there wasn’t a whole lot else going for him in his secondaries. Hall appears to be a Toby at the moment and I hope his second start features a bullying nature of some kind, let it be his changeup actually earning strikes again or a fastball that properly earns whiffs again.

66. Gavin Stone – The four-seamer is holding at 95/96 mph like we saw in the spring (sweet!), but its average shape suggests it won’t dominate much on its own. With Stone’s changeup as the sole dominator in his arsenal, I’m wondering how high the ceiling actually is. He needs a legit #3 pitch or he’s just a prime Luke Weaver on a better team.

67. Trevor Rogers – His fastball jumped back to 93 mph (great) and he was leaning into both sliders and changeups. Things should get better in future starts.

68. Louie Varland – I’m massively intrigued, though I want to see him actually dominate once before I bring him into the higher tier.

69. MacKenzie Gore – He just went against the Pirates and I’m not adjusting this rank. I wish he elevated his heater more, but his slider was disgusting in the low-90s, while he boasted a fastball up two ticks to 97 mph. JUST GET THE DANG THING UPSTAIRS.

70. Max Meyer – As the sole RHP of the Marlins’ rotation, I’m expecting Meyer to be up for a bit. He’s more of a command arm with a strong slider than a power pitcher, which diminishes his appeal a touch relative to the other young arms.

 

Tier 10 – The Tobys You Want To Be Hollys

These arms are generally going to stick on your team throughout the year, but you’re constantly wondering if they are doing enough to help.

 

71. Tyler Wells – The dude will get you Wins and a solid WHIP. It’s fun.

72. Marcus Stroman – His cutter earned ten whiffs against the Astros and I have my eyebrow raised. We’ve seen it happen before and disappear shortly after, but maybe it sticks around this time.

73. James Paxton – He’s a short term play as long as he’s healthy and the Dodgers will let him have a decent leash as he’ll go through at least five often. Wins galore.

74. Brandon Pfaadt – He took down the Rockies with ease (duh) and sadly still sports just a sweeper. The four-seamer and changeup aren’t enough to forecast a breakout 2024 campaign unless he paints the edges effortlessly.

75. Michael Wacha – The dude’s a Toby in a spacious park.

76. Seth Lugo – He had a comfortable time against a Royce-less Twins lineup. That’s Toby time.

77. Erick Fedde – Fedde looks like a kitchen-sink command arm who gets a boost in QS leagues. Because, you know, The White Sox. The splitter, cutter, and sweeper are all solid additions.

78. Zack Littell – I don’t know what to do with Littell, who landed ton of high-and-armside sliders. That’s not supposed to work…right?

79. J.P. France – I like his cutter and he looks to be leaning more into whiffs. Just stop throwing so many middle-middle heaters please.

80. Clarke Schmidt – Schmidt’s arsenal suggests more dominance against RHB, while I think he’ll eventually make the right adjustments to endure LHB well enough to become a solid Toby and potential Holly on a winning club. Or he’ll hover five frames often as he nibbles too much around the zone.

 

Tier 11 – Strikeouts Are A Vice, Y’all

They have some enticing strikeout ceilings, but we don’t actually believe this will hold throughout the season.

 

81. Ryan WeathersHis fastball and change showed promise and I’m not against Weathers. It just doesn’t feel overpowering quite yet. Maybe he deserves to be in Tier 10. I get the sense his heater will get worse and he won’t find the command he needs to properly thrive.

82. Charlie MortonI still worry about his skills degradation – it’s really just a strong curve that’s left – but the Win chance is solid and the ERA won’t be the worst thing ever with some strikeouts along the way.

83. Brady SingerI know, it was SO GOOD! And yet, even with a four-seamer getting mixed in with the sinker, I don’t see Singer as anything properly different than what we’ve seen over the last four years. He’s still a massive Cherry Bomb as we’ve seen those starts before.

84. Chase SilsethLet’s hope he shows up with the four-seamer cooking in tandem with the slider and splitter earning all the whiffs.

85. JP Sears – The four-seamer is legit, the problem is everything else, including his uniform.

86. Kyle Harrison – Hey, it was a good start! And not enough growth to expect it consistently! He’s a Cherry Bomb until some level of consistency is shown, especially with his lack of four-seamer whiffs.

87. Ryne NelsonI sincerely hope we see a legit four-seamer up and proper slider or cutter down. He has it in him.

88. Sean ManaeaMaybe Manaea has it in him. We’ll see with his Tigers start.

89. Chris PaddackI didn’t see anything in the spring that suggested Paddack is doing anything elite inside his arsenal. I hope to be proven wrong.

90. Griffin CanningHis fastball is worse, so of course he threw it half the time in his debut start. The strikeouts will return in some fashion, but at what cost.

91. Bowden Francis – The four-seamer shape is great and the hook was ole reliable last year, but why does he have to get the Astros and Yankees to start the year?

92. Jordan Wicks – Wicks shocked with a four-seamer that jumped up a tick and gained two ticks of vert to an impressive 17″+ mark, leading to 19 whiffs over the weekend. He gets the Dodgers this week, allowing us to hand wave the outing for now, but if Wicks showcases the same heater again + nails the changeup, he’s a productive fantasy starter with a chance to become a real thing if he develops a strong #3 pitch.

 

Tier 12 – Fine, You Need Some Streams & Other Randos

Sneaky starters who could find you some wins or quality starts but shouldn’t be held with adoration in your 12-teamers.

 

93. Kenta Maeda – The first start was rough, but it doesn’t mean he can’t recover. He still has whiffability and play the right matchups for more production than a standard streamer. He could still be a 25% strikeout rate guy this year.

94. Luis Severino – His four-seamer is bad. I’m hoping it was just a rough debut, though I’m losing plenty of faith that Severino can get back to his pre-2023 form.

96. Ranger Suárez – A good streaming option against the Nationals this week.

98. Dean Kremer – Two starts this week against middling lineups as he pitches for a winning club.

95. Frankie Montas – He made it work against the Nationals. Yay. Consider him if you want against the Phils and Brewers.

97. Logan Allen – He’s a Toby facing the Mariners. That’s fine, I guess.

99. Lance Lynn – He survived the Dodgers and maybe there’s some strikeouts to get out this.

100. Cody Bradford – Bradford did his job against the Cubs and with his Ober-esque four-seamer from the left side, I see him as a Wins option off the wire during the year.

 

Honorable Mentions

You’re getting little blurbs on everyone else contending for a rotation spot or not on the Rockies (mostly). This is in team order, not rank.

 

Cole Irvin (BAL) – Maybe his velocity jumps back up with proper command like it did in the spring.

Tyler Alexander (TBR) – He has the fifth spot with Bradley and Baz hurting, but does it matter?

Chris Flexen (CHW) – This ain’t the Toby you want as the White Sox are not going to Win many games this year. Meanwhile, Flexen will be climbing the mountain as he does everything possible to flirt with a 20% strikeout rate.

Nick Nastrini (CHW) – He walked five batters with zero strikeouts in his final spring outing and he may have the fifth spot in the rotation in a start against Atlanta to kick off the year. Let’s just play this one slow.

Mike Clevinger (CHW) – I hate that Chicago just signed him and I personally don’t want to think of him at all. If you want to take a shot, you do you. I don’t.

Carlos Carrasco (CLE) – His velocity is down and even against a mediocre team, I wouldn’t to chance it.

Matt Manning (DET) – I still can’t believe the Tigers optioned Manning to Triple-A. He looks primed to be a six-inning arm with an improved heater and slider, even if he doesn’t have the upper ceiling of others. If you’ve drafted him, you can let him go back to the wire for now.

Alec Marsh (KCR) – He earned the fifth spot and if you’re still thinking about that 11 strikeout game from last year, you’ll be lucky to get those in his first two outings combined.

Ronel Blanco (HOU) – With Justin Verlander needing another week or two, Blanco will get some starts and after fanning 10 in his last spring outing, he’s interesting, right? Well…it was the minor league Astros lineup + he gets the Jays + @TEX in his first two starts. That’s a no from me.

Patrick Sandoval (LAA) – Ditto, but slider and changeup instead.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) – He’s a desperate streamer.

Joe Boyle (OAK) – His stuff is so good. His command is so bad. Don’t fall for guys who can’t locate (this is different than Snell, who misses with a purpose. Big difference than Boyle who literally aims for the middle of the plate with every pitch).

Ross Stripling (OAK) – Stripling doesn’t have enough upside.

Alex Wood (OAK) – Once we get proper data, I wonder if we’ll see anything pop out for Wood. I highly doubt it.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) – At least he’s going cutter heavy now…?

Emerson Hancock (SEA) – He’s subbing in for the hurt Bryan Woosporting a sinker/slider/change approach. It can work, though Hancock doesn’t look fully warm for the season yet. I’d take this slow and consider him as a potential Toby.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) – He’s the poster child of chaos.

Dane Dunning (TEX) – There are times his slider and cutter do enough to make it work. Maybe worth a pickup for a Vargas Rule at some point.

Adrian Houser (NYM) – It’s fastballs all day and sometimes it works.

José Quintana (NYM) – Not the worst streaming option when he’s locked in with his command, but I’m not ready to trust that.

Spencer Turnbull (PHI) – He’s in the rotation for now as Taijuan Walker recovers, but you should ignore this. It’s four-seamer (really cutter) + sweeper and it isn’t at a high enough level.

Josiah Gray (WSN) – He had some moments this spring, but it doesn’t look like he’s boasting any major changes to the repertoire. No thanks.

Patrick Corbin (WSN) – There’s a new cutter for both RHB and LHB that may actually make a difference this season. Sleeper for NL-Only..? Crazy, I know.

Trevor Williams (WSN) – #NeverTrevor

Jake Irvin (WSN) – He’s throwing a little harder and it’s still not a good fastball. His secondaries don’t do a whole lot either.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) – It’s getting worse and that’s not a fun time for an 87 mph heater.

Javier Assad (CHC) – He’s filling in for the hurt Jameson Taillon (A healthy Taillon is a touch under Tyler Wells in the ranks) and I don’t expect him to go long nor produce, even against Rockie Road.

Nick Martinez (CIN) – I hope he’s actually starting and throwing at least 40% changeups while axing the dang four-seamer.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) – The command is just so bad. The stuff may help him survive some games with low strikeout totals, but hot dang, it’s not a fun time.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) – He’s around until Nick Lodolo shows up, which means he gets @PHI and hosts the Mets. Super risky starts for a guy who hasn’t polished his approach yet.

Colin Rea (MIL) – He looks to be starting for the Brewers and maybe that’s enough to warrant a stream here and there.

Jakob Junis (MIL) – Junis could have a starting gig and recently displayed lower velocity with just a two pitch mix and only one whiff on his signature slider. Yeah.

Joe Ross (MIL) – The Brewers could be going four-man the first turn and even if Ross was here, do you really want that?

Martín Pérez (PIT) – Don’t ignore Pérez if you’re searching for QS in a deeper league. Probably doesn’t push the needle enough in 12-teamers.

Marco Gonzales (PIT) – He can be a decent streamer if the matchup is fantastic.

Bailey Falter (PIT) – He won’t be in the rotation for long.

Miles Mikolas (STL) – There’s so little to chase here. You can do better.

Kyle Gibson (STL) – Maybe he has the slider working on a given night as a desperate streaming option. At least he has the leash to go six.

Steven Matz (STL) – Even hitting 97+ on his sinker over the weekend, Matz still failed to earn whiffs. This isn’t it.

Zack Thompson (STL) – He’s lower in velocity now and absolutely not the guy to go after.

Tommy Henry (ARI) – He’s in until Jordan Montgomery is ready to go or Eduardo Rodriguez is healthy and trust me, the Diamondbacks feel the same way too.

Jordan Montgomery (ARI) – Figured I’d have a word or two on him. As he’s not in the rotation yet while he ramps up, I see Montgomery as a potential Hollythough his ability doesn’t come with a Top 25 SP ceiling, unless he gets super fortunate with Wins. His success is reliant on pristine rhythm as he spots the edges + good fortune on balls in play and Arizona is a great fit for him. I can see him being around Nick Pivetta for some, though for me, I’d rather shoot for higher and grab the guys in Tier 7, making Monty lead Tier 8 once he returns.

Cal Quantrill (COL) – COL story, bro.

Dakota Hudson (COL) – COL story, bro.

Austin Gomber (COL) – COL story, bro.

Ryan Feltner (COL) – He actually has some intrigue with his four-seamer that should be a decent pitch upstairs, but his slider is more like a cutter that doesn’t get whiffs and there’s nothing else. Oh, and Coors n all.

Matt Waldron (SDP) – There was some consideration here as the SP #5 for the Padres, but it’s possible he pairs with Jhony Brito + his stuff speaks to a potential Toby and not much else.

Daulton Jefferies (SFG) – He might be out now with Snell returning this week and there’s possible streaming consideration later in the year.

Keaton Winn (SFG) – It seems like he could be ready to go, but a date with the Dodgers + Padres to kick off the season is a clear avoid for now.

 

SCROLL BACK UP AND READ THE NOTES

 

Labels Legend

Aces Gonna Ace

Ace Potential

Holly

Toby

Cherry Bomb

Spice Girl

Vargas Rule

Streaming Option

QS Bonus

Wins Bonus

Strikeouts Bonus

Ratios Bonus

Rotation Spot Bonus

Team Context Effect

Stash Option

Injury Risk

Playing Time Question

 

I’ve updated the tags for 2024, now allowing myself to tag a player in one three groups.

Overall Label
Aces Gonna Ace
Ace Potential
Holly
Toby
Cherry Bomb
Spice Girl
Vargas Rule
Streaming Option

Bonus Stat
QS Bonus
Wins Bonus
Strikeouts Bonus
Ratios Bonus
Rotation Spot Bonus
Team Context Effect

Special Tag
Stash Option
Injury Risk
Playing Time Question

A quick legend for those unfamiliar with our odd terms at Pitcher List:

Holly = Solid ratios, constant 6 IP & a 20-25% strikeout rate
Toby = Borderline arm for your 12-teamers who has a 20% or lower strikeout rate. They barely do enough.
Cherry Bomb = A volatile starting pitcher. Usually with strikeout upside and low ratio floor.
Spice Girl = Young arms who have massive ceilings or could be off your team in a few weeks.
Vargas Rule = A pitcher we’re picking up now given he’s on a roll, but we drop once he stumbles again.
Team Context Effect = Either ranked higher or lower due to team context (Coors, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta, Cincy, etc.)

Adapted by Kurt Wasemiller (@KUWasemiller on Twitter / @kurt_player02 on Instagram)





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